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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2004): Education - UK - Higher

CLARKE'S CLASS WAR ON UNIVERSITIES

J. Daley

Daily Telegraph, February 25th 2004, p.22

University top-up fees are likely to deter working class students from entering higher education. In response, the Education Secretary has instructed the Office for Fair Access to crack down on universities failing to recruit sufficient students from "under-represented groups".

CONSEQUENCES FOR WOMEN IN THE ACADEMIC PROFESSION OF THE WIDESPREAD USE OF FIXED TERM CONTRACTS

C. Bryson

Gender, Work and Organisation, vol.11, 2004, p.187-206

A major feature of academic employment in the UK is the very high number of staff on fixed term contracts. Article explores whether the prevalence of fixed term contracts has made it easier for women to secure posts and progress. Survey showed that men, rather than women, benefited from non-competitive selection for short term posts, held more secure and less uncertain forms of fixed term contracts, and had more success in gaining promotion. The most likely explanation of the operation of this gender difference is patronage, where senior staff nurture junior colleagues.

GAP YEAR CASH OFFER TO WORKING-CLASS YOUTH

A. Frean

The Times, February 19th 2004, p.2

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is proposing to give working-class teenagers who do voluntary work during a gap year help with university tuition fees or cash to start their own businesses.

(See also Daily Telegraph, February 19th 2004, p.13)

IVY LEAGUE MAY TAKE THE BEST BRITISH STUDENTS

R. Garner

The Independent, February 26th 2004, p.6

Reports predictions that top US universities are likely to set up campuses in the UK. They will be able to charge better-off students full-cost fees and attract the cleverest from low-income families by offering generous scholarships.

NEW BLOW TO A-LEVELS AS LAW SCHOOLS SET ADMISSION TESTS

R. Garner

The Independent, February 4th 2004, p.2

Eight of Britains' most prestigious universities are to sideline A-Levels as an entry for law courses and set their own admission tests instead. Their decision is being seen as a blow to the credibility of A-levels as helping universities select the brightest candidates. The law schools, led by Birmingham University, say that the new tests will help institutions "discern intellectual potential" among the large pool of well-qualified applicants.

PLAN TO WAIVE FEES FOR MATHS DEGREE

W. Woodward

The Guardian, February 24th 2004, p.1

Students could have their university fees waived if they take a mathematics degree to help reverse a crisis in the subject in schools, colleges and universities. According to Professor Adrian Smith, Principal of Queen Mary College, University of London, if recent improvements to the AS-level syllabus fail to increase the numbers taking maths at A-level and degree level, the government would have to waive university fees for maths students and even consider paying students directly to take it.

REASSURINGLY EXPENSIVE

J. Crace and D. MacLeod

Guardian Education, February 3rd 2004, p.2-3

Should a degree course in philosophy cost more than one in physics? Is any cheaper option going to look bad? As vice-chancellors compose their price lists, the author considers some of the dilemmas involved.

TOP UNIVERSITIES EXPECTED TO SPEND MORE ON POORER STUDENTS

M. Green

Financial Times, February 24th 2004, p.4

Top universities will be expected to spend more on financial support for the poorest students, the government has revealed. Some of the money raised from higher tuition fees could even be used for extra help with living costs for part-time undergraduates, black and Asian students and the disabled at elite institutions.

WHAT ABOUT THE WORKERS? THE EXPANSION OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF ACADEMIC WORK

C. Bryson

Industrial Relations Journal, vol.35, 2004, p.38-57

Article assesses the impact of the profound changes that have taken place in higher education on academic staff in the UK. A recent large-scale survey shows that the morale and satisfaction of many teaching staff have been eroded by work intensification and that of research staff by the insecurity created by casualised employment. Nonetheless resistance and resilience continue despite the pressures and traditional values remain strong.

WORKING CLASS GRADUATES STILL AS A DISADVANTAGE

T. Halpin

The Times, February 26th 2004, p.7

Research analysed the experiences of 1500 graduates who were the first to pay tuition fees in 1998. Study found that middle class students were the most likely to graduate with a good degree and to get a well-paid job. 42% of students analysed worked to support themselves during term and were less likely to gain a good degree. The average debt on completion was £10,000, but those from less privileged backgrounds owed most. Students from poor backgrounds also found it harder to get a good job.

(See also Financial Times, February 26th 2004, p. 5)

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